Moving Day {Alexander Brodie}

 

    Waking as the dawn crept into my window, I stretched and greeted the day. “Morning Gaia,” I said as my feet touched the cold, hard floor. A warmth filled me despite the chill in the air as Gaia communed with me. I made up my bed and took out a clean linen shirt from the old wooden chest at the foot. After the quick change from my nightshirt to the fresh one, I bent to pick up my plaid and began the process of folding and laying it out. It was a methodical, but soothing, part of my day. The pleats and folds lined up perfectly with the pattern and weave the loom created. I lay on the floor, lining my belt up with my hips, and folded the longer, flat sections of fabric over my stomach before buckling my belt to hold it in place. When I stood, the long back flap of material hung to the middle of my calf. I gathered the remnant and folded it over my shoulder, tucking it into belt at the front. Pulling aside the room dividing curtain, I made my way to the hearth and stoked the remaining embers before laying some fresh logs on, restarting yesterday’s flames. The daily routine was cathartic, but leads to complacency. Complacency, often leads to trouble. As the logs caught alight I prepared my tea for the kettle. Standing at my apothecary cabinet, I filled the thin cloth with the special mix of herbs and whispered the spell into it as I do almost every day. Immortali-tea is a special blend of herbs and spells that help my youthful appearance. It’s my time in a cup, but also leads to interesting questions that keep me moving often. 

     Today is moving day. I tied the cloth and dropped it into the kettle, swinging the iron arm over the now lapping flames. I cut off some cheese and nibbled on it as I began packing my jars and containers of herbs into a hay-filled crate. The townspeople were coming in less and less often and the whispers had begun. I knew my time here was coming to a close and it is better to move before the hate and fear sets in. I moved on to the book cabinet, pulling my key out from under my shirt where I kept it around my neck, and unlocked the cabinet. There were some dangerous and rare books in my collection so I kept it under lock and key. Druids, as a rule, do not keep a written copy of spells, rituals and histories. Such things could be very dangerous if they came into the wrong hands…even agòrach mortals playing around with them could cause irreparable damage to the balance we are sworn to uphold. Rotating the scrolls and books in each crate, I was able to both cushion the books and distribute the weight between two of them. Pouring myself a second cup of tea, I moved on to my living quarters. One of my few remaining friends were scheduled to stop by with his horses and wagon later to help me load up the massive loom that was my livelihood, so I needed to be completely ready by the time he got here. 

     Most of my things were neatly put away, so I knew the packing in here would be quick. I folded the blankets from the bed I had made earlier and set them into the same chest I had pulled my shirt out of earlier that morning, Dragging another chest out from under my bed, I folded my feather mattress into thirds and dropped it into the second chest. Next I moved on to my room dividing curtains and quickly snipped the fastening leathers I had used to attach them onto the rope hung from each end of the room. By the time I finished folding the heavy fabric and packing the rest of my wares and supplies, my friend had arrived. Looking around, memories of customers, friends and travelers that visited my shop over the years flooded my mind. Grinning, I squatted and gripped one corner of the loom, “One, two, three, LIFT,” we strained, lifted the loom and shuffled in unison to the door. Setting it down at the doorway to adjust our grip, we made small talk about the shenanigans we had gotten into over the last few years. We continued lugging the monstrous thing out to the wagon, stopping one more time before lifting it into the back. We both walked back inside and grabbed a crate or two. We took the heavy, room dividing fabric and carefully covered the loom with it, tying it down before loading the crates around it. The disassembled bed frame and fireside bench went next then the shelves and cabinets. We finished the load off with the large chests containing my clothes and bedding and lashed everything down. I pulled the door too and my friend handed me a hammer. I put the tines between the door and my sign and tugged. A sold crack rang in my ears as the nalis loosened and the sign popped off. I dropped my arms to my side as I stared at the square of darker wood on the door where the sun couldn’t reach. I took a deep breath and sighed. Another chapter closed. Turning to my friend, I handed him back his hammer and clutched my sign and we climbed into the front of the wagon together. He snapped the reigns and the wagon jostled forward.

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